I say it a lot, but I am beyond blessed at where I live and the community that surrounds me. I live a few miles away from the beach and everything I do is within 10 miles of me. God has gifted me with so much and I am slowly beginning to use those gifts for his glory.
I led worship on drums for 5 years and then took a hiatus to check where my heart stood on leading. It became so much more about the performance for man than it did in leading people into an intimate time of worship with the Almighty God. He has been stirring it up in my heart in the past year to lead again but in a smaller setting, which I actually prefer. Just my small group, which is about 25 people. I think the best part is that as I’ve been rehearsing throughout each week I get to have that intimate time of worship of just me and God. It’s like preparing to lead a Bible study. You dive into the Word so much and read into many commentators and theologians say. You get so much out of it in preparation for the actual Bible study. I get so much out of rehearsing worship sets in preparation for a short time of worship once a week.
A praise is that I used to teach English to underprivileged families in my neighborhood. It’s been over a year now, but a month ago we talked to the moms about making it a Bible study and they all got excited. They said they’ve been wanting to study the Bible but just didn’t have any time. Ah, that is SUCH an answer to prayer! God is doing big things in LA and it all starts with the smallest of seeds.
I think it’s great when an amount of time goes by and you look back at it and you just see how God connected all of the dots and everything makes sense. The past 2 months have been joyful, sad, but most of all centered on Christ. God has taught me so much about prayer, what it really means, and how much my life lacks of prayer despite my thinking the amount of time I’m praying is enough.
Another thing that has been on my mind is actually following Jesus. I was talking with one of my best friends about an illustration that was painted in my head during church this past Sunday. We often try and lead Jesus when Jesus said “Follow me.” It’s one thing for us as Christians to say, “Yes, I’ll follow you Lord,” but our lives reflect it in no way. We think our lives do but they really don’t and I think it’s especially hard because we live in America where everyone calls themselves a Christian because they go to church once in a while and are a “good” person.
The illustration is this: Us following Jesus is like a child kicking a ball. We’re the ball and Jesus is the child. It’s actually quite simple. When we try and lead Jesus we’re going to get kicked in the butt. When we try and follow Jesus we’re often “left behind.” Double negative right? That’s how it seems. I think it’s really true in America because we say we’ll follow Jesus but we often stay in the same place or end up going somewhere else. We say a lot but take no action. I see this true in my life because it’s not easy following Jesus. Think about it. To drop EVERYTHING, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. There are things I still hold onto despite my foolish ways of saying that I’m not holding onto anything. What are you holding onto that’s preventing you from truly following Jesus?